Pig prices in Spain are going up
Pig prices in Spain have been constantly going up in the last 4 weeks, reaching €1.178/kg live at the end of February. "Although we are coming out of Christmas season with the usual high weights’ hogs and with higher supply, this has been absorbed earlier than usual and with better pricing because of continued high demand ever since October. Still, Spain is under total tension currently as we observe a supply/demand imbalance going on for a few weeks in Catalonia and Aragon. These areas are where 60% of the processing plants are located and affecting the entire Spanish pork market.
Overall, the European pork market seems to have already bottomed out, with Germany at the forefront which now sees rising prices for the first time since last spring, as slaughtering capacity is recovering, as do exports of live animals primarily to Italy. Germany is flooding the European market, including Spanish one, with meat and the difference from country to country on making a profit is whether they are approved or not to export in China," reports Mercedes Vega, General Director for Spain, Italy & Portugal, Genesus Inc.
Spain is different from other EU member states due to large volumes shipped monthly to China, almost 100,000 tonnes. That stands for almost 80% in Spanish pork exports but things are looking good also in the Japanese, South Korea, Vietnam, and Filipino markets. The Philippines have recently tripled their quota of pork imports to cover the deficit reported in several provinces of the country, as the Asian state is facing an ongoing ASF outbreak that started in 2019. However, the country does not accept pork imports from countries affected by African swine fever such as Germany, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, etc.
That gives an advantage for Spanish pork producers who are increasing their market shares in Asia. "Spain’s live hog price, despite still with well below 2020, in which we had an average of €1.45/kg vs. €1.11/kg average this year, is set above Germany €0.92/kg, France €1.09/kg or the Netherlands €0.92/kg", explained Mrs Vega. Even in 2020, the sector reported an average profit per hog of €25, which makes the last year a good year for the Spanish pork industry, considering the global market turmoil created by the COVID-19 crisis.
(Photo source: Modern Farmer)